The New York Yankees presented top free agent pitcher Blake Snell with a six-year, $150 million offer several days ago, according to Mark Feinsand MLB.com.
Snell is still waiting for a more lucrative offer, but at 31 years old and coming off his best season as a professional, whichever team ultimately signs him will be getting him at the peak of his value. Snell has longevity issues and has failed to push past the 5th inning in the past, presenting some problems — ones the Yankees certainly have taken into account and factored into their offer.
However, the Yankees are the only team that has presented an actual contract proposal to Snell, which certainly doesn’t bode well for his developing market. The veteran lefty is coming off an NL Cy Young award-winning season, tossing 180 innings, earning a 2.25 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 11.70 strikeouts per nine, and 86.7% left-on-base rate and 44.4% ground-ball rate.
There is no question that Snell would immediately help the Yankees in their World Series quest, but general manager Brian Cashman is concerned about adding another regressing contract.
The Yankees Need to Be Concerned About Regression
At 31, Snell is bound to regress to the mean, having a career 3.20 ERA. That is still solid, but he’s only pitched over 128 innings once over the past five seasons, so investing more than $25 million per year could result in a net negative move. The Bombers are still trying to get maximum value out of Carlos Rodon, who they signed to a six-year, $162 million deal last off-season.
Nonetheless, if Snell is forced to take the offer on the table, given the Yankees still have it available after landing Marcus Stroman, it would be a bargain.
Spending $25 million per season on one of the best pitchers in the game isn’t a bad move, and one the Yankees would likely stomach in the event his price tag comes way down. It’s possible that free agency is being held up by the impending TV deals, which could spark movement over the next few weeks. Teams may be waiting to see what those financials look like before making a significant offer to Snell, but for now, the Yankees have the only offer on the table.